Restoration of the Derby Arm working boat lift model

The Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust is a charitable Trust backed by more than 700 subscribing members dedicated to restoring the Derby Canal as close to the original line as possible. This will connect Derby to the national waterways network at Swarkestone and Sandiacre and establish a maintained circular route for boaters, cyclists and walkers of 25 miles travelling through urban and rural areas.

Why did you engage with DE-Carbonise?

We believe this project fits well with DE-Carbonise because the Derby Arm boat lift itself is expected to deliver the following benefits to Derby and the wider region:
  • Promotion of sustainable tourism via landmark sustainable tourist attractions in Derby. These are projects which we believe will inspire the local population to consider careers in sustainable engineering projects and/or how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. It would also create a public association between environmentally sustainable tourism with financial civic prosperity and therefore provide an ongoing monetary incentive to persevere with decarbonising the local economy. We also expect these projects to provide hundreds of local jobs in a new sustainable tourism sector by 2030

  • The project is an enabler to significantly improve the coverage of safe, off-road cycling and walking path networks across the city (and with other local towns); thereby encouraging people to use bikes and to get about on foot instead of using the car. There are clearly direct personal financial benefits to not using a personal car to get around as well as public health benefits; we expect these to be strong drivers for positive change in the city and the region

  • The project will be an enabler for electric (or hydrogen) river transportation, which would also alleviate pressure on local roads, especially during match days at Pride Park Stadium for example, and form part of Derby's drive towards decarbonising its public transport infrastructure

  • The projects have been designed to link in with Derby Midland Railway Station with clear footpath, cycle and river taxi routes so that it is possible for those living outside Derby to travel on the train and spend a day or a weekend in the city without having to use a personal car

The University of Derby has already supported us with the provision of future vision computer-generated images which form an essential part of the "scene" setting required for any capital funding bid as well as securing the interest of private investors.
The University will be able to support us further with encouraging the next generation into careers in sustainable engineering projects by means of inspiring STEM projects.

Specifically, we hope that the recovery of the working scale model of the Derby Arm boat lift will encourage engineering students to think through how engineering expertise can be used to drive a sustainable economy in the 21st Century, encouraging school age children to consider how they might play a part in their city's future as well as in the world's future.

A CGI render of a large metal arm mechanism which sits over a canal filled with water.
An image of a scale model in a display case. The model is of a metal swinging arm device that is intended to be positioned over a canal.

What has been the impact of working with DE-Carbonise?

The DE-Carbonise project has been extremely useful to the work of the Trust in helping to define the economic and environmental benefits of its proposals for large waterside regeneration projects in Derby.

Next Steps

As work to complete CGI graphics showing a restored waterfront area in Derby has already been completed by the University of Derby, the next step would be to restore the working STEM model of the Derby Arm boat lift which has been designed to inspire the next generation of engineers in Derby to engage with sustainable engineering projects. The Derby Arm itself if the key economic driver for the environmental regeneration projects proposed by the Trust.

Logo's for European Union Regional Development Fun, Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Midlands Engine.

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